Today our guest columnist is Dr Stephen Day, a Forensic Scientist and University Lecturer
Inspiring teacher: When thinking of how they ended up in the career they have, many people will cite a favourite teacher that inspired them to study science/take up acting/persevere with the violin. I would like to do the same, but in truth there is no academic teacher in particular that I would identify that led me down the scientific route, the chemistry path or into investigative science. These things all happened through decisions made during normal life and were just natural progression. Instead I would say the most influential teacher I had was Mrs Higgins who was in charge of what would now be called the reception class. With her I learnt that learning itself is fun and interacting with other people, albeit small ones, inspires new ideas and teaches co-operation and compromise. I would argue that these formative years are probably the most important in anyone’s life and that habits and attitudes manifested throughout the later years are learnt here. I worry that today’s children, with working mothers, too-busy fathers, deprived households, target-driven education, lack of continuity in childcare and stressful environments may be developing attitudes that will have repercussions down the line that we as a society will regret later. Lockdown has shown some at least that family is more important than extra money and may change attitudes to parenthood. Maybe we should as a nation gravitate towards the Swedish model, where childcare for 1-6 year old is considered vital to the nations well-being. https://www.naeyc.org/ I particularly like the idea of gravitating towards the Swedish Model.
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